The problem isn't even consistency, it's the blatant self-delusion that their 40 times actually compare to anything outside of football. They can lie to themselves all they want as long as they keep it in house, but I'm tired of the public and even sportswriters (who should know better, but obviously don't - even SI has erred in this department) thinking that football players, the best athletes in the world (sic), are faster than track athletes, because of those 40 times. My favorite line is so-and-so has 'world class' speed - come to find out he ran a 10.29 in the NAIA.
"The problem isn't even consistency, it's the blatant self-delusion that their 40 times actually compare to anything outside of football. They can lie to themselves all they want as long as they keep it in house, but I'm tired of the public and even sportswriters (who should know better, but obviously don't - even SI has erred in this department) thinking that football players, the best athletes in the world (sic), are faster than track athletes, because of those 40 times. My favorite line is so-and-so has 'world class' speed - come to find out he ran a 10.29 in the NAIA."
First of all, I don't think most legitamite sports writers actually think football players are faster than track atheletes. The problem is more that sports writers don't care about track, and therefore don't think to mention it. A statement by a sports writer that "so-and-so football player is fast" does NOT mean that "so-and-so football player is faster than Tim Montgomery." It simply means what it says: that the player is fast.
Second, football players are much better all-around atheletes than track sprinters. Imagine a 6-3, 250 pound man who can bench-press 500 pounds, run 100 meters in sub-11 seconds, tear down a basketball rim, change directions with frightening quickness and has the grace and balance of a ballet dancer. That description pretty much characterizes your standard NFL linebacker.
Track sprinters, on the other hand, are good at running in a straight line and that is pretty much it.
I don't know if NFL players are the best all-around athletes in any sport, but they are certainly near the top.
Finally, 10.29 is pretty damn good time. In a lot of countries, you would be king of the mountain with that time. Our standards are skewed by the fact that we live in the U.S., which has a glut of top sprinters. I doubt that there are too many people who post on this board that run or ran 10.29, and I therefore don't think that this is the place to be talking trash about it.
a. Sportswriters DO brag that the fastest men on the planet are in the NFL.
b. Football players may well be better all-around athletes - that's not the issue here.
c. 10.29 is a VERY fast time, but it's not world class. It's not even national class, i.e. 100 meter finalist at USATF. Yet sportswriters blithely refer to player X as one of the fastest men on the planet.
d. at what point was I talking trash?
The point I was TRYING to make is that people DO use 40 times to make comparisons outside of track and it is, of course, nonsense.
This is a favorite subject of mine. Being a fairly hard-core follower of Track and Field for the past 30 years, I get a kick out of hearing the average high school and college football fans talk about kids running 4.3 or better in the 40. For one thing, a true electronic timed 4.5, 0r even 4.7, is fast. Since this is not an officially run distance in T@F, there is no true basis for comparision. However a few other revelent observations:
Dion Sanders is said to have run a 4.26 at the combine in Indy, the fastest time ever recorded. I assume this was electronically timed.I also don't know when they started keeping track of such times.
Also, I was privledged to attend the 1983 NCAAs at Robertson Stadium in Houston. That year was the greatest collection of fast football players ever. In the 100 final, if my memory serves me correctly, were Darrell Green, Willie Gault, Phillip Epps, Sam Grady and maybe Ron Brown. Carl Lewis had already turned pro but was still attending school. Carl's training partner at the University of Houston, Stanley Floyd, won the race. Floyd was about 5' 6" and weighed 145 pounds. He later had a tryout with Montreal in the Cananadian Football League, where he supposedly ran a 3.91 40 yd. (I assume hand-timed). It made the U.S. papers the next day!
Floyd, and some of the football players/sprinters of that era (especially Sam Grady) consistantly would be ahead of Carl Lewis at the equivalent 40 yd. point of a 100 meter race, but Carl would always smoke them from 50 m. on, like they were standing still. Thus I also see little revelence between 40 yd. and 100 m. times.
My last posting got me thinking I needed to do a little fact checking. Stanley Floyd won the NCAA 100 m. in 1982, not 1983, although he appears to still hold the 50 yd. world indoor mark of 5.22, which redeems me a little. I saw him run at U. of Houston around that time. He was also 1980 NCAA 100 m. champ at Auburn. Carl won in 1981. The 1983 NCAA winner against all the football players was Emmitt King of Alabama. I could not find the other places. I figure a 5.22 50 would translate into at least a 4.2 40, electronic timing, spikes and all.I think this is approaching a historic limit. Any comments?
Willie Gault's name has appeared several times in this thread. In the "Where Are They Now" department, he's entered in the high hurdles and 100 at USA National Masters Championships which start here in Eugene on August 7th. Also entered in the meet are Willie Banks (TJ) and Sunder Nix (400), along with 1200 other athletes.
Gault got 2nd in the 60m in the indoor Masters Nationals in Boston last March. Still can fly at over 40. What happened to Greg Foster? There is a Greg Foster from NJ that competes in the Masters Nationals but at 41yrs of age, this can't be the hurdle great can it? This guy from NJ is really good at the jumps and fairly fast.
No, different Greg Foster. "Gregory" Foster (as he likes to be called now) is a sports agent in St. Louis, until recently representing Gail Devers. At 44, still looks like he could run a fast hurdles, but doesn't compete in Masters that I'm aware of.
>Willie Gault's name has appeared several times in
>this thread. In the "Where Are They Now"
>department, he's entered in the high hurdles and
>100 at USA National Masters Championships which
>start here in Eugene on August 7th. Also entered
>in the meet are Willie Banks (TJ) and Sunder Nix
>(400), along with 1200 other athletes.>>
Not quite. Gault, Banks and Nix are entered along with 1200 wannabees.